What is the best way to treat or control diabetes?
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The disease diabetes mellitus is generally called diabetes. In Latin, Mellitus means ‘honey’ referred to the sweet smell and taste of the patient’s urine. The Greek word did maintain (the former name of diabetes) means ‘a a siphon’, referring to the excessive urination associated with the disease.
A new report says that 450 million people worldwide have diabetes. It was 108 million only in 1980. If this trend continues, over 700 million people will be affected by diabetes by 2025.
In the United States, about 30 million people have diabetes, and 86 million have pre-diabetes. It is estimated that over 4 million people in the UK are living with diabetes at present.
ROLE OF INSULIN IN OUR BODY
The sugar content in our diet is converted into glucose, which is then transported to the bloodstream. Beta cells situated in the pancreas gland produce a hormone called insulin.
Insulin stimulates muscle cells and other body cells to take up glucose from the blood, convert it to glycogen, and store it.
In this process, insulin keeps the glucose level in the blood at a standard size. Body cells convert that glycogen to glucose for different body activities and use it as fuel.
WHAT IS DIABETES?
The condition of diabetes is one that has abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods such as bread, rice, fruits, potatoes, etc.
Insulin is used by the body to lower blood glucose levels.
A gland in the body makes it called the pancreas. Diabetes occurs when a person's pancreas does not produce enough insulin. It will also occur when the body cells can’t properly use the insulin produced.
Keep in mind that diabetes is a destructive disease that may lead to Amputation, Heart attack, Blindness, Kidney Failure, Stroke, Ulcers, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Depression, Erectile dysfunction, and many other diseases.
So please don’t take it as a silly disease and neglect it. A person with diabetes will not feel any changes when it grows because it is a painless process.
It is better to take proper action in the early stage itself. So do medical check-ups occasionally, especially if you are 45+.
Pre-diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough to be classed as diabetic.
Even though it means that you are susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes if you do not take much care of it.
The sad thing is that there are no physical symptoms to warn you if you are in the pre-diabetes stage. So it's worth getting yourself checked out.
TYPES OF DIABETES
There are several types of diabetes. Among them, the 3 significant types of diabetes are:
•Type 1 Diabetes
•Type 2 Diabetes
The other types of diabetes that are not common include Type 1.5 (LADA), Type 3, MODY, Brittle, Steroid-induced, and Double diabetes.
TYPE 1 DIABETES:
Type 1 diabetes is often called juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes. It usually begins in childhood or adolescence. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas releases no insulin because the body’s immune system has destroyed the cells that produce it.
Therefore, the patient relies on treatment with insulin, which is considered an insulin-dependent disease.
Type I diabetes is a chronic condition with no cure. Insulin injections treat it, and diet & regular exercise is recommended.
TYPE 2 DIABETES:
Type 2 diabetes is also referred to as adult or mature onset diabetes. It is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with the disease.
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the produced insulin does not work correctly.
The work of insulin is to pass the glucose in the blood into the body cells and store them, thereby converting them into glycogen. The body's cells use this to produce energy for various activities.
At some stages, the cells in the body do not react adequately to stimulation from insulin, and they do not take in enough glucose from the blood. This condition is called 'insulin resistance.
Glucose builds up in the blood, overflows into the urine, and passes out of the body without fulfilling its role as the body's primary source of fuel. The amount of glucose in the blood therefore rises. Also, insulin production can increase to regulate the glucose amount, but this effort to reduce the blood glucose is not effective enough.
If the sickness goes on for a long period of time, insulin production may begin to decline.
Being overweight and inactive increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes dramatically.
People can develop this type of diabetes at any age but more often after the age of 50 and is usually associated with today's modern lifestyle of fast food, stress, and no exercise.
Also, the high sugar and fat consumption in many countries, especially in western countries nowadays, cause young people to affect the disease. But with modest weight loss and moderate daily physical activity, you can delay or even prevent type 2 diabetes and lead an everyday life.
During pregnancy, women are more susceptible to developing gestational diabetes. When pregnant, it is one of the most common and serious health issues a woman encounters.
Gestational diabetes affects about 5 percent of all pregnant women. It usually goes away after childbirth.
The sooner you begin treatment for gestational diabetes, the better your chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Treatment for gestational diabetes always includes unique meal plans and scheduled physical activity. It may consist of daily blood glucose testing and insulin injections. You will need to consult your doctor.
Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can result in a large baby and difficult birth. It can also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later.
CONSEQUENCES OF INSULIN RESISTANCE & INADEQUATE INSULIN PRODUCTION
Because of Insulin Resistance (or Inadequate Insulin Production), body cells cannot absorb enough glucose from the blood, and a high quantity of glucose will be accumulated in the blood.
Now the following things will happen in the body.
a. The body cells will not get enough fuel (glucose) to do the supposed work.
b. Because the blood's molecular thickness increases, water will be absorbed from the body tissues into the blood. The tissues will get dried out, and urine production will increase.
c. To get energy for various works, the tissues break down protein and fat.
This causes weight loss and muscular reduction.
At this stage, the body shows the symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetes can lead to more severe health problems if this is continued for some years without taking the proper remedy.
1. Blood vessel damage within the eye may lead to blindness.
2. Kidney disease (nephropathy) or kidney failure may happen.
3. This may lead to nerve damage (neuropathy), especially in the hands and feet, causing tingling, numbness, and weakness.
4. Blood vessels will be narrowed due to fatty deposits. This may lead to heart at- tack and stroke.
SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 2 DIABETES
Since the growth of diabetes is a gradual process, the symptoms can be challenging to identify in the starting. It is to note that the symptoms can also be familiar to other diseases. Moreover, symptoms may vary in different persons.
The main symptoms of untreated diabetes are increased thirst, excessive urination, extreme tiredness, weight loss, blurred vision, and genital itching.
Here are some of the typical early diabetes symptoms:
* Slow healing of physical injuries
* Dry mouth
* Skin infections
* Unusual vaginal dryness
* Erectile failure
* Premature menopause
* Impaired vision
* Urinary tract infection
* Numbness of the hands
* Weight loss or weight gain
These are severe diabetes symptoms:
* Excessive hunger
* Excessive thirstiness
* Excessive urination
* Serious blurry vision
* Weight loss
* Muscle aches, weakness, and cramps
* Tiredness, fatigue, and vomiting
Complications associated with diabetes symptoms:
* Diabetic retinopathy
* Kidney diseases
* Heart diseases
The complications will increase with time, making it more challenging to treat the disease. Then it is time to take immediate steps toward the disease to prevent more damage to the body.
DIABETES SELF TEST
For doing the self-test, you want an instrument called Glucometer. Prick your finger with a small needle called a lancet. Take the tiny drop of blood on a test strip and place it in the Glucometer. Within 20 seconds, you will get the result.
Usually, 2 types of blood sugar tests are done.
1. Test your blood in the morning before taking any food (after at least 10 hours of fasting).
2. Take regular food and test after 2 hours. This tests the body's ability to handle the excess sugar consumed after the food.
NORMAL BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS
Blood sugar levels are measured in mmol/L or mg/dL.
mmol/L measurement is used in the UK, and mg/dL is used in the USA and many other countries.
To get mg/dL value, multiply mmol/L with 18 (mg/dL = 18 × mmol/L).
Normal blood sugar levels for healthy adult people are as follows:
On fasting, it will be between 4.0 to 6.0 mmol/L (70 to 110 mg/dL) 2 hours after eating, it will be less than 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL).
The below-given blood sugar levels are considered as usual for diabetic people:
On fasting, 4 to 7 mmol/L (70 to 125 mg/dL) for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes 2 hours after eating, less than 9 mmol/L (160 mg/dL) for type 1 diabetic and less than 8.5mmol/L (153 mg/dL) for type 2 diabetic.
CAN TYPE 2 DIABETES BE CURED?
It's been a big question for a long time. Many physicians in the United States and others say that diabetes is a progressive, chronic disease with no cure. Don't be disappointed to hear this.
Diabetes studies say that Type 2 diabetes is a fully curable disease. Several doctors worldwide strongly believe that diabetes can be fully reversed, and they have succeeded in these experiments and proved it.
The main point of the cure is changing your lifestyle. They give three leading suggestions (rules). They say that if you follow these 3 simple rules, you can live a diabetes-free for lifelong.
These rules are:
A. Weight Control
B. Regular Exercise (Physically Active)
C. A Healthful Meal Plan
HOW TO REVERSE TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type II diabetes is generally developed by obesity, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity. If you can overcome these 3 factors, you can undoubtedly become free from diabetes.
Let us look into the connection of body weight to Type 2 diabetes. Doctors say someone who is grossly overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely than an average-weight person. This is because obesity has been connected to several severe health conditions such as diabetes and strokes.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services studies, over 80 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Your overweight affects your health in many ways. It will prevent your body from making and using insulin properly.
A weight increase of 12-20 pounds doubles the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with an average-weight person. This means that overweight people are twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as normal-weight people, and their life expectancy will also be decreased by ten years.
Let us look into the mechanism that leads to type 2 diabetes. In fatty people, the ex- cess fat received through food is accumulated in the liver, pancreas, and other body cells. That prevents regular insulin action and normal insulin secretion. These two defects can be reversed by losing good body weight.
How can you know whether you are underweight, average weight, overweight or obese?
You can use the Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body weight relative to height.
HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR BMI:
It is weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters:
Weight/(Height x Height)
If you weigh 75 kg and are 1.77 m tall, your BMI is 23.9. For adults, an ideal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9.
It is considered that a BMI of 25-29.9 is overweight, 30-39.9 is obese & 40+ is very obese.
If your BMI is 25 or more, you weigh more than is ideal for your height, and you should seriously think about losing weight.
Being overweight will increase the risk of health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, kidney disease, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
HOW CAN YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
You can do this by 2 methods.
* By doing ‘Regular Exercise.’
* By following a ‘Healthful Meal Plan,’ avoiding excessive fats & carbohydrates.
Being overweight is a dangerous factor that helps to make your cells more resistant to insulin.
Losing weight prevents a worsening of diabetes and reverses the damage that obesity causes to the cells that produce insulin.
Exercise is one of the essential lifestyle changes if you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
First, exercise will promote weight loss and will also kick-start metabolism. Both will allow your body to be more sensitive to the insulin produced in the body.
Exercise helps control body fat, reduces weight, and supports sugar transport from the blood into the cells. Exercise will increase the number of insulin receptors.
Health experts advise those who already have diabetes to start regular exercises that can do wonders. Without training, people have the tendency to come to be obese.
Once they are obese, they have a more significant chance of getting diabetes. It is better to consult a health expert or your doctor before starting your exercise program.
You don’t need to spend too much money to purchase expensive exercising equipment for your regular exercise.
It would help if you had the willingness and the determination to start exercising for a healthier life. It will be worth your time and work.
People with diabetes tend to develop circulatory problems, and exercise can certainly help lower blood pressure and improve circulation throughout the body.
People with diabetes will have poor blood flow to their lower body, especially to the feet, and better circulation benefits.
By exercising regularly, fat is burned from the body when cells oxidize to release energy in practice. Most power is taken from the fat stores when the activity is done.
Fat stored in the wrong parts of the body (inside the liver and pancreas) is used up first when the body has to rely upon its fat stores to burn.
This will cause a hike in insulin production in the pancreas and decrease insulin resistance, thereby maintaining insulin sensitivity in the body.
WHAT EXERCISES TO DO:
Aerobic exercises are good for reducing body fat and maintaining healthy body weight. The word aerobics means 'with oxygen.' Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that makes you sweat and breathe harder. This activity can lower your blood glucose and improve your body's use of insulin.
1. Brisk Walking:
There are different kinds of aerobic exercises. Diabetes patients are advised to walk as their primary form of exercise. If you don't habit regular exercising, start it slowly.
Walkbriskly outdoors for 15 minutes every day (or you may use a treadmill). After 1 week, extend the time to 30 minutes. After 2 weeks, if you feel comfortable with this time, you may further extend the time to 45 minutes to 1 hour.
After 1 month, you will feel more comfortable with your body and have lost some body weight. Your blood sugar level also will be reduced. It is better to continue this walking habit as a daily routine. Don't forget to do this daily without any break.
2. Other aerobic exercises:
If you don't like walking, do the following exercises for 30 minutes to 1 hour daily. It will reduce your body weight and blood sugar level.
Bicycle riding or using a stationary bicycle
Basketball & tennis-playing
3. Yogic Asanas:
Practicing ‘Yogic Asanas’ are good for diabetic patients. You may practice Bhujan- gasana, Halasana, Dhanurasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Sarvangasna and Mayurasana for 1 hour.
These ‘asanas’ will help you reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression, thereby reducing your body’s insulin resistance.
First, you may feel a little hesitant to continue your daily exercises, but your body changes will surely provide you with enough motivation to continue the daily plan.
A HEALTHFUL MEAL PLAN
If you live with diabetes, one of the best ways to fight this disease is with a diabetic diet plan.
You will get the necessary levels of recommended nutrients if you stick to the advised food plan, which will help you battle the sickness.
Having a diet plan can have a significant impact on your blood glucose. Overeating food containing lots of fat and calories will adversely affect your body condition.
Food containing low sugar and carbohydrate is good for normalizing blood sugar levels. If you like sweet stuff much, cook them yourself using sugar-free products.
Several sugar-free products are now available in the market.
Results of Newcastle investigation, UK:
The Newcastle investigation team conducted a study among diabetes people to know the impact of food on diabetes.
11 people with diabetes took part in the survey. By reducing their food intake to just 600 calories a day for 2 months, all of them reversed their diabetes. And 3 months later, when tested 10 of them were again, and 7 were free of diabetes.
The results of the Newcastle investigation showed that full recovery from diabetes was possible through diet, not through drugs.
The research presented at the American Diabetes Association conference shows that an extremely low-calorie diet, consisting of diet drinks and non-starchy vegetables, causes the body to eliminate fat from the pancreas, which is blocking it from producing insulin.
There is a strong relation between carbohydrates, high blood sugars, and diabetes. Carbohydrates give your body the energy or fuel it needs to function correctly. 50 to 60 percent of daily calories in our body come from the carbohydrates in the food.
So for successful maintenance of your ideal weight, a low amount of carbohydrates should be included in your daily diet. That means low-carb diets are suitable for people with diabetes.
In a low-carb diet, the carbohydrate intake is limited to about 5 to 10 percent, such that protein and fats take precedence in one’s eating habits to keep sated and avoid bouts of hunger.
The excessive use of fat is connected to the development of diabetes. A study at the University of Colorado Health Science Center, USA, found that an extra 40g of fat a day increases the chances of developing diabetes by three times.
Fat rich diet, especially one saturated with animal fat, damages the insulin’s effectiveness.
One of the essential nutrition guidelines to follow is to ‘eat less saturated fat.’ A quick and straightforward way to do that is to eliminate meat products.
They include a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. The renowned journal Lancet reports that a patient with diabetes must be persuaded to consume fewer animal foods.
Fruits and Vegetables:
It is essential to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to take the place of all of those empty calories and keep you feeling full and energetic.
The person with diabetes should not be afraid to eat fresh fruits and vegetables which contain sugar and starch. Fresh fruits contain sugar fructose, which does not need insulin for its metabolism and is well tolerated by people with diabetes.
Apple is perfect for diabetic patients. It is rich in soluble fiber. A man needs about 38 grams, and a woman needs 25 grams of daily fiber.
An average-sized apple contains 4 grams of fiber, 77 calories, and 21 grams of carbohydrates. It also has full of vitamin C and minerals.
The primary dietary consideration for a diabetic patient is to be strict Lacto-vegetarian and take a low-calorie, low-fat, alkaline diet of high-quality, natural foods. Fruits, nuts and vegetables, wholemeal bread, and dairy products form a good diet for diabetes.
Cooked starchy foods should be avoided as cooking the cellulose envelops of the starch granules burst, and consequently, the starch is far too easily absorbed in the system.
Diabetic people should take their food at 6 or more intervals. It will keep their blood sugar at a more steady level.
A glass of lukewarm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Breakfast: Any fresh fruit except bananas, soaked prunes, a small quantity of wholemeal bread with butter, and fresh milk.
Lunch: Steamed or lightly cooked green vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, turnip, asparagus, and mushrooms, two or three whole wheat chapatis according to appetite, and a glass of buttermilk or curd.
Mid-afternoon: A glass of fresh fruit or vegetable juice.
Dinner: A large bowl of salad made up of all the raw vegetables in season. If desired, the salad may be followed by a hot course and fresh homemade cottage cheese.
Bedtimesnack: A glass of fresh milk. You will certainly lose your body weight by following the above diet plan within 2 months. Then also, continue this or a similar diet plan.
*Avoid Stress: Stress causes to increases the body's glucose level practice relaxation methods like meditation and breathing exercises.
*Quit Smoking: This will badly affect the disease.
*Get Good Sleep: Daily, a sound sleep of 8 hours the night is recommended.